Daimler and Renault are in the final stages of wide-ranging -strategic partnership talks that would involve the German and French carmakers taking “symbolic” minority stakes in each other.
The carmakers are close to a final decision over an alliance that would involve a small cross-shareholding and that is likely to be announced in April, people close to the situation told the Financial Times.
The mutual stake would be in the range of 3 per cent, just above the threshold whereby shareholdings have to be made public, one of the observers said.
A senior industry executive said the two carmakers “don't want to marry” but, given the progress on a strategic partnership “it makes sense to underpin that with a symbolic stake”.
The German premium and the French volume carmaker, which both declined to comment, have held extensive talks in recent months over a number of joint projects, such as a small car platform and common components for light trucks and electric cars, including batteries, motors and inverters.
Renault and its existing Japanese alliance partner, Nissan, are between them developing eight electric models, the largest line-up of battery-powered -vehicles planned by any carmaking group.
Daimler and Renault are also discussing whether to share engines. While Daimler is interested in Renault's engines for small cars, both the French carmaker and Nissan covet Daimler's diesel engines for premium cars and trucks.
Renault has an 11-year-old cross-shareholding alliance with Nissan and has long spoken of adding a third partner.